With the exception of a gently charming pink finish, the Apple Watch Series 9 doesn’t actually have anything exceptional to offer in terms of its visual appearance. Instead, the S9 processor is rumored to deliver the watch’s most significant performance improvement in years, powering a brighter display and speedier Siri interactions. Apple says this is the watch’s first major update in years. The introduction of a new ultrawide-band chip enables users to have new ecosystem experiences, making it more appealing than ever before to adopt the Apple Smartwatch as well.
But the progress that has been made for Apple’s greater accessibility and sustainability missions thanks to the Apple Watch Series 9 is, in my opinion, the most consequential. The new double tap gesture introduced with Apple Watch Series 9 makes it easier to perform a variety of the watch’s features using only one hand. This year’s Apple Watch family, which includes the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and returning Apple Watch SE, is the first set of carbon neutral Apple products to hit the market. Eco-friendly watch bands, reduced packaging, and recycled parts throughout make this family the first set of carbon neutral Apple gadgets.
Apple Watch Series 9 hands-on Specifications
Take a look at what’s going on behind the scenes of Apple’s main smartwatch for the coming year, the Apple Watch Series 9. This is where you’ll find the most significant changes that have been added to the device.
|Weight||42.3 g (41mm), 51.5 g (45mm)|
|IP Rating||IP6X certified 50m water resistant|
|Resolution||484 x 396 pixels (326 ppi)|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyro, heart rate, barometer, always-on altimeter, compass, SpO2, VO2max, temperature (body)|
|Operating System||watchOS 10|
Apple Watch Series 9: Design and Display
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies to the Apple Watch Series 9. Since 2015, the Apple Watch has kept a similar design, with an occasional adjustment like a bigger display to maximize space. Overall, the design has remained consistent from its inception. The 9th generation retains that design. That’s not always bad. It’s worked for nine years—why change it? I wish the Series 9 had the Action Button from the Watch Ultra in 2022, but it didn’t. Instead, the case is rectangular with rounded corners and the Digital Crown and side button are on the right edge as usual.
The Apple Watch’s interface has altered slightly. The new Double Tap feature lets you double tap your thumb and index finger to answer a call, take a photo with the Camera Remote, or scroll among Smart Stacks widgets. I’ve found it fluid, responsive, and natural, like Vision Pro, which uses a similar gesture. WatchOS 10 also modifies how you interact with the Apple Watch, therefore the Series 9 has several changes. They are software, not hardware.
The display is on top of the Watch Series 9 case, but most of the sensors are below. Not edge-to-edge, but close and looking amazing. The colors pop, the blacks are deep, and the display is snappy.
As with previous models, the Watch Series 9 comes in 41mm and 45mm sizes. It’s smaller than the 49mm Watch Ultra and Watch Ultra 2 and available in aluminum and stainless steel instead of titanium. Aluminum looks terrific with the correct strap, but stainless steel is more expensive and more premium.
This year’s color is new. Pink joins Midnight, Starlight, Silver, and Product (RED). Pink smartwatches are flamboyant and not for everyone, but I like difference. Old straps will work for another year because the Apple Watch’s design is mostly the same. However, several new ones are Carbon Neutral like the rest of the Apple Watch Series 9 (including Watch Ultra 2).
Apple Watch Series 9: Double Tap
The most intriguing feature of the Apple Watch Series 9 is the double-tap gesture. If you’re familiar with using hand gestures to operate your Apple Watch, you’ll find the new dedicated double-tap control to be really helpful. Think about it: you need to take a call but you just bought a cup of coffee. Double-tapping your watch hand’s index finger and thumb will start the call, saving you from having to use the index finger of your other hand and potentially spilling your oatmilk latte.
The call will end if you double-tap the screen again. When watchOS 10 is released, double-tapping will be officially utilized to browse through the Smart Stack. (The beta version of WatchOS 10 is out now; the final release is scheduled for September 18.) A double tap can also be used to activate certain Apple Watch apps, such as the timer.
Health and Fitness Tracking
The Apple Watch Series 9 is the most recent iteration of Apple’s popular wristwatch, and it includes a lot of improvements in the realm of fitness monitoring. The new heart rate sensor is one of the most exciting updates. The Series 9 incorporates an optical heart rate sensor that is both more precise and quicker to respond than its predecessors’. This allows for more precise monitoring of heart rate during exercise and at rest.
The addition of a blood oxygen gauge is yet another recent improvement. The Series 9 can take a reading of your blood oxygen levels whenever you want it to, and it can even do it automatically while you sleep. People with asthma and heart disease, for example, may find this information useful. New sleep tracking capabilities are available on the Series 9. It now has the ability to monitor several phases of sleep, such as REM, NREM, and light sleep. Additionally, it can pick up on snoring and other breathing irregularities. You can use this data to enhance the quality of your nightly sleep.
The Series 9 includes all of the same health and fitness tracking functions as previous versions in addition to these additional additions. Keeping tabs on your physical activity levels is a part of this. The Series 9 can also be used to monitor your heart rate variability, a metric that provides insight into your general level of physical fitness.
Apple Watch Series 9: Hardware
Even if the overall look is the same, subtle modifications may have been made behind the scenes. The new Apple Watch Series 9 has a new processor inside, and it appears to be a significant improvement in performance compared to the previous three versions of Apple Watch. While the Series 8 Watch has a new moniker for its processor, it’s essentially the same as the Series 6, which was released three years ago. I won’t know how much of a difference the S9 processor makes until I get the Watch Series 9 in for review, but I’m hoping that it will allow for improvements in battery life and general performance. In addition to improving performance, this is necessary for the Double Tap feature (which is distinct from one of the accessibility capabilities offered for prior Apple Watch models).
Like the Watch Series 8, it is also resistant to water up to 50 meters and has a wealth of sensors. There is both an optical and electrical heart rate sensor, enabling the ECG/EKG functionality present on Apple Watches since Series 4. I anticipate that the optical heart rate sensor will perform just as well as the Series 8’s heart rate sensor. A high-g accelerometer, a blood-oxygen sensor, and a compass are also included.
Apple Watch Series 9: Performance
When it comes to responsiveness and functionality, I can’t wait to spend more time with the Apple Watch Series 9 and see how it stacks up against the Apple Watch Series 8. Apple boasts some huge specs for its smartwatch chip, but I couldn’t immediately detect the performance benefit without being able to compare it to last year’s watch.
With its 5.6 billion transistors and 4-core neural engines, the Series 9 chip can accelerate machine learning by a factor of 2. Siri should now operate more quickly, and effects should look better, thanks to a GPU that is 30% quicker. I’m excited to test out Apple’s claimed 25% increase in dictation accuracy. Although I enjoy utilizing the voice-to-text function, it is prone to errors at the moment.
Battery Life and Charging
We already covered the Apple Watch Series 9’s battery life in the technical specifications. I gave up long ago on the idea that Apple’s flagship Watch will one day be equipped with a battery life comparable to that of other multi-featured, multi-day smartwatches. Even though last year’s introduction of Apple Watch low power mode helped, I still expect daily charges to be required.
|Feature||Apple Watch Series 9|
|Battery capacity||308 mAh|
|Battery life||Up to 18 hours|
|Low-power mode||Up to 36 hours|
I’ve been using the Apple Watch Ultra for the better part of the last year rather than the Apple Watch Series 8 because of its longer battery life (36 hours vs. 8 hours). However, if you care mostly about battery life.
The Apple Watch Series 9 represents a little upgrade in comparison to its predecessor. The design is unaltered, which is exactly what we would anticipate from an Apple Watch given our previous experiences. The addition of a speedier processor, on the other hand, gives consumers who have an earlier model a cause to upgrade. Double Tap will transform the way you use Apple’s smartwatch, and I’m curious to see how that works in real life. There aren’t any fantastic new capabilities, but Double Tap will change the way you use it. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that this smartwatch will perform admirably.
My Series 8 watch hasn’t been removed from my wrist in over a year, and despite the fact that it didn’t bring any big new functions, it was still more enjoyable to wear than my Series 7 watch. Until I have the opportunity to provide a comprehensive assessment of this product, I won’t be in a position to make a final choice regarding it.
Apple Watch Series 9 hands-on review: The good and The bad
As a result, the ninth iteration of the Apple Watch, known as the Apple Watch Series 9 (or Apple Watch S9), is significant not only for the technological advances it incorporates but also for its overall design.
- 25% improved processor
- New UWB chip features
- No new health/fitness functions